Fantasy casting, as the name suggests, is the idea of, "if a movie was to be made of this story right now, who would best represent the characters?".
There are two ways this can happen. The first way is that a certain photograph of an actor will spark a moment of inspiration. Aiden, one of the characters in Through the Fire was, for example, inspired by this photograph:
Before seeing this picture, the character was semi-sketched out, but this picture cemented his role and his look in my head. It was the eyes in particular which screamed out loudly for a certain direction for the story.
There is also a supporting character in my the novel who bears a somewhat uncanny resemblance to a certain skinny Scottish bloke--in my mind at least. Anyone who knows anything about me needs no guesses as to Who that skinny Scottish bloke might be (and for those who don't know me personally, the 'Who' is a hint).
The strange thing about all of this fantasy casting is that very rarely have I been able to cast my main character. There are a number of people who have similar traits to my protagonists. Maybe they have the same eyes, their face shape might be just right or their hair exactly as I described, but there's always something slightly wrong about them. I think this is a product of my main characters being such a product of my mind that no one is exactly right. Whatever the reason, my main characters in Through the Fire still remain cast-less.
When the book is out, I'd love to hear who other people mentally cast in the role. Maybe I'll have to bust out this post again then. Because the thing is, I do this for books I read too. I spend almost as much time wondering who would be right to play so-and-so as I do just enjoying the story. Does anyone else have this problem? Or am I alone in my role as a fantasy casting director?